Meet Disney's First Latina Princess

Photo: Courtesy of Disney Junior.
Meet the newest Disney princess, Elena of Avalor. She'll officially debut in 2016 on an episode of Sofia the First, a show for preschoolers that currently airs on Disney Junior. From there, Elena will be the star of her own series called, fittingly, Elena of Avalor

It's not every day that we get a new Disney princess, but Elena's arrival is doubly exciting because she's the first ever Latina princess. In a statement released by the network, she's described as "a confident and compassionate teenager in an enchanted fairy tale kingdom inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore." Elena is 16 years-old and has a little sister named Isabel. Her best friends are Mateo, a wizard-in-training, and Skylar, a flying creature. 

Elena is especially welcome after the network was cagey about Sofia's heritage when Sofia the First premiered in 2012. Viewers speculated that Sofia was of Hispanic heritage, but the network released a statement saying that, "Sofia is a fairytale girl who lives in a fairytale world. All our characters come from fantasy lands that may reflect elements of various cultures and ethnicities." Disney noted, via the National Hispanic Media Coalition, that they were working on a project with a Latina as the heroine of the show.

She'll finally arrive in 2016, and Sofia the First is already prepping to debut Elena's storyline. Sofia currently wears a magical amulet in which Elena was imprisoned by an evil sorceress named Shuriki decades ago. Sofia "sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor." Elena's story will continue on from there. Dominican Republic-born actress Aimee Carrero, who's currently the best part of the ABC Family show Young & Hungry, will voice Princess Elena. 
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